"Indiferent ce se întâmplă, o călătorie îţi oferă întotdeauna o poveste de spus."

Elly Berkovits Gross was a Jewish Holocaust survivor,  born February 14th , 1929  in Șimleu Silvaniei, Romania, to Eugene and Irina Berkovits. In 1944 Eugene, her father, was taken by the invading Hungarian military gendarmes  into a forced labor camp on the border with Ukraine. After a while he perished on the Russian front. Elly and her remaining family, her mother and younger brother Adalbert, were taken to Cehei ghetto in May 1944 along with most other Jews in Sălaj County. Six weeks later, her family, along with thousands of other Jews were deported  to Auschwitz concentration camp. She was separated from her mother and brother, and never saw either again.  Elly was transferred to Fallersleben, a part of the Neuengamme concentration camp, where she performed slave labor for Volkswagen until she was liberated at Salzwedel by the Allies on April 14, 1945. Elly returned to her home town, where she soon married family friend Ernest Gross. Then she moved to United States of America where she resides since then. 

            Elly was one of the greatest supporters and contributors to the Holocaust Museum in Northern Transylvania. Since the opening of the museum in 2005 she has send hundred of educational materials, books, paintings, DVDs and she had paid for printings for the purposes of the educational activities of the museum. Recently she shipped one of her latest paintings about the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and the tragedy of the Holocaust. Her interviews as one of the Holocaust Survivors, her educational tools had reached the whole World, and it was translated in more than 10 languages. She was still very active until the last moment of her life.

          The Holocaust Museum in Northern Transylvania will built a memorial place for Elly Gross, as one of the most beloved Holocaust Survivors from Șimleu Silvaniei.

May Elly’s memory be for a blessing.


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Stefania Hecht

4 ianuarie 2023